Las Vegas DUI First Offense - What's Going to Happen to Me?
Being arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas can be terrifying. If you weren't injured, then chances are you have already been to jail. DUIs in Las Vegas can be felonies or misdemeanors. If you get a DUI in Nevada you should contact a DUI lawyer immediately. That is because no matter what type of DUI you get in Nevada (yes, there are different levels!), the first thing to happen is usually the DMV suspending your driver's license or suspending your driving privileges in Nevada if you live out of state. This can be appealed and potentially reversed, but you must request the appeal within a concise timeframe! Aside from the license suspension, the penalties you could be facing vary by jurisdiction and severity of the DUI. We will be focusing on the standard penalties for a DUI First Offense in Las Vegas.
DUI First Offense Penalties - TL;DR
The penalties for a DUI First in Las Vegas are a fine between $400 and $1000, jail time of up to six months, enroll in and complete a DUI School, enroll in and attend a Victim Impact Panel, and install a breath interlock device for at least 185 days. If the BAC is .18 or higher, the enhanced penalties of attending an alcohol or substance abuse program and a breath interlock device for at least 12 months. Contact Charles Goodwin, an experienced and knowledgeable DUI Lawyer in Las Vegas and Nevada, as these penalties can have significant variation!
DUI First Penalties in Las Vegas
A first-time DUI in Las Vegas is a misdemeanor. NRS 193.150 sets the standard penalty for a misdemeanor in Las Vegas as up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000. The court may order community service in place of any jail time. NRS 484C.400 builds upon those punishments. First, it sets the minimum fine to $400 but keeps the maximum at $1000. It also sets the minimum jail time to two days but keeps the maximum at 180 days. In addition to those maximums, the court MUST order:
- Attend a DUI School that meets the requirements set by the DMV - this is often completed online and takes about 6 - 8 hours.
- Attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP)
- Install a Breath Interlock Device (BID) in your car for at least 185 days
These requirements are the minimum punishments by law and are often called "the mins." A judge is not authorized to order a more lenient sentence.
Enhanced DUI First Penalties
It is possible to be subjected to more serious penalties for a DUI first in Las Vegas. The penalties become more serious if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .18 or higher. As a reminder, a BAC of .08 is the legal limit for alcohol in Nevada. So, the enhanced penalties are only required if you are more than double the legal limit. Those enhanced penalties are:
- Attending a treatment program for alcohol or other substance abuse
- Install a breath interlock device for a minimum period of 12 months
These requirements are only necessary if the BAC exceeds .18. If the BAC is close to .18, then a DUI lawyer can often get the prosecutor to waive these enhanced requirements. Additionally, the requirement for the interlock device is separate and distinct from the interlock requirement from the DMV. If you are ordered to install a breath interlock device by both the court and the DMV, you should speak with your DUI lawyer about having them run concurrently, meaning the time for having it in counts towards both at the same time.
An exception to DUI First Penalties
There is only one exception to the penalties required for a DUI First, and it is only available to veterans and members of the military. If you are a veteran or a member of the military, then you are eligible to have your sentence deferred and ultimately dismissed if you attend and complete veterans court. Veterans court is at the discretion of the sentencing judge and may not be granted. Speak with a Las Vegas DUI Lawyer today to see if it's the right option for you.
A DUI Lawyer is Necessary
Whenever the issue of penalties comes up, a DUI Lawyer is necessary. Charles Goodwin, a Las Vegas DUI Defense Lawyer can help. Here's why:
- Complexity: There is a lot of variation on DUI First penalties in Las Vegask. Charles Goodwin knows how to navigate these complex issues to ensure that if you have a DUI, the penalties stay at the minimum sometimes regardless of BAC!
- Knowledge: lawyers not trained to handle DUIs will often recommend that you accept whatever the prosecutor offers - which is generally harsher than required. This is because the prosecutor is often much more knowledgeable about DUIs than the untrained lawyer. Don't let that be you! DUI Attorney Charles Goodwin understands DUIs and can help.
- Experience: Many lawyers who do not handle DUIs regularly may be unaware of the new requirements under the law, including breath interlock requirements being run concurrently, no more per se marijuana DUIs, and more. DUI Defense lawyer Charles Goodwin has resolved hundreds of DUIs, is a member of the National College of DUI Defense and has practiced in all courts in Southern Nevada. He can help you.
Contact Charles Goodwin at Goodwin Law Group, PLLC today. He has the knowledge and experience to navigate the complexity of your DUI Offense and help you make an informed decision on how to proceed when you are facing a DUI first in Las Vegas or throughout Nevada. Don't chance your future. Call today for your free consultation!